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A Few Moments

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and I was sad the days leading up to it.
Because I teach third grade four days a week. 
I have a full day of ASU classes one day a week.
Guess which day?
I was going to miss partying with my kiddos. 

Then I got some news that changed the plans for the day.
My best friend, Cori is currently serving a mission for the 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
in Indiana. 

She is the best missionary and an incredible friend. 
There really aren't words to describe my gratitude to her for her friendship over the years.
I received word that last week, her father passed away,
so his funeral was yesterday
on Valentine's Day.
It was a bittersweet reminder about love. 

Cori was able to come home just for the funeral
and then go back to Indiana the next day. 
I was anxious to see her as it had been 7 months since I had seen her last,
but sorrowful that it was under these circumstances that we would meet.

When we (my good friends Heather and Mark were with me),
got to the church for the viewing before the funeral,
I walked in and saw my Cori there.
She was shaking hands with every guest.
Her face was a radiant smile as she greeted them cheerfully.
She reminded them,
"He loved you very much."
Of course he had.
He had been a loving and funny man, treating everyone he met with kindness.
Obviously, he passed these traits on to his daughter.

I watched her in all of her grace, strength, and poise
for a few minutes before I dared approach her.
Finally I couldn't stay back any longer and quietly I walked up and waited for her to notice me.
After shaking someone's hand, 
Cori looked up and our eyes met.
Within seconds, my eyes had filled with tears that tried to tell her how sorry I was for her pain.
Her eyes filled with tears telling me how grateful she was that I'd come. 
We embraced each other and for a few moments, 
all I felt was a pure and perfect love for my best friend. 
I felt as though I could never let her go,
I wanted to protect her.

Then I felt something else.
I felt as though someone else was hugging both of us.
Holding us together right there for a minute of two.
I don't know who it was.
It may have been our Savior comforting us.
It may have been Cori's father.
But I felt them.
My heart was filled with love and comfort.

I watched Cori sing at the funeral and then sat with her through lunch.
I was astounded by her courage as she comforted everyone who had come.
She's always been a strong one,
but as I watched her all day,
my love for her grew and I learned more about the greatness of my friend.

She told me stories about her mission,
and I thought how lucky I was to see her before the year and a half it would have been.

Finally it was time to go.
I wouldn't see Cori for at least another year.
I hugged her and said goodbye.
Then walked outside and hugged her and said goodbye again.
Then as I turned to walk  away,
my eyes welled with tears as I though about parting for my friend.
I turned again and hugged her.

And there I had a few moments of Valentine's Day happiness,
that I got to hold and comfort my sweet friend.
It wasn't your normal Valentine's Day,
but it was sweet nonetheless.

And I can't wait to see here again.